Tuesday, March 26, 2013

National Treasures

I just noticed my blog sitting there, so long ignored, but patiently waiting for the update on my life.  How kind, sweet blog!  I am back now and ready to talk!

This month has been a whirlwind of activities (including hot air balloons and tornadoes):

The first two weeks were dedicated to finally taking our family on that long-awaited trip to Washington DC.    We'd been planning for over a year (maybe two) and there were a lot of things on our itinerary!  We had an amazing time and got to see so many things, including:
  • National Zoo (saw a panda!)
  • Pentagon (tour)
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing (tour, but no free samples)
  • Washington Monument (inside is closed, boo hoo)
  • Smithsonial Museum of Natural History (can you say "evolution?")
  • National Archives (waited in line for over an hour!)
  • Sculpture Garden
  • Air & Space Museum on the National Mall and the Udvar Hazy off-site
  • Smithsonian Castle 
  • Library of Congress (tour)
  • US Capitol Building (tour of senate and house galleries, rotunda and more)
  • The White House (no tour, boo hoo - cancelled for imaginary "snow storm")
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Korean Memorial
  • WW2 Memorial
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  • FDR Memorial 
  • Jefferson Memorial 
  • Viet Nam War Memorial (engulfed by the names)
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • Ford's Theater (tour)
  • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery
  • Old Post Office (tour of clock tower)
  • and more!
We got lots of experience using the DC Metro.  And, after a while, we figured out the Metro was using us -- we were paying an extra dollar each way for each passenger ($8, multiple times a day) just because we used a paper pass!   

Along the way, we also went to the Airborne & Special Ops Museum in Ft. Bragg, NC -- very nicely done museum! 

So, we shared all these "national treasures" with our children (allusion to the movie is intended as we had fun locating some of the movie's events/documents) and what did they enjoy the most?
  • It snowed on us! (that was pretty neat)
  • Eating donuts every morning at the cheap, old motel we stayed at
  • Watching HGTV (home & garden - we don't have cable at home)
  • Visiting the Air and Space Museums (with the kind of stuff we see in Florida all the time!)
  • An unexpected and unplanned ice skating experience in an outdoor rink! and
  • Eating ravioli at a Fazoli's Restaurant on the way home (ours closed down a few years ago)!
Go figure!

After getting things back to normal (the laundry got done and the pets came home), my daughter and I were scheduled for a hot air balloon ride.  After two cancellations for weather, we were excited (and a little scared) for our journey.  More about our ride and our later brush with tornadoes in the next update!